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11-22-2010, 03:16 PM
Sri Lankan new cabinet sworn in


COLOMBO, (Xinhua): Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa here Monday swore in his new cabinet of 10 senior ministers and 49 cabinet ministers marking his second term in office.

The incumbent Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne was re-appointed to the position while the cabinet would see the induction of 10 senior ministers which includes former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka.

While most of the ministers have retained their subjects some of the opposition MPs who had defected to Rajapaksa's government during the 18th amendment to the constitution in September have been rewarded with cabinet positions.

The prominent among them is the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the main Muslim minority party, Rauff Hakeem.

The 18th amendment allows a sitting president to run for third or unlimited terms.

President Rajapaksa has retained the key subjects of defense, finance, ports and aviation, as well as highways while his brother Basil Rajapaksa is to continue as the minister of economic development.

G. L. Peiris, the incumbent foreign minister has also retained his position.

The swearing-in of ministers took place following President Rajapaksa being sworn in for a second term on Friday.